Houston Police have refused to explain why they took a 13-year-old white girl from her two black guardians over the weekend and placed her in the custody of Child Protective Services.
Landry Thompson’s mother had signed notarized papers giving dance instructor Emmanuel Hurd full guardianship over her during a trip from Oklahoma to Houston for training,according to KHOU.
Thompson, Hurd and another dance instructor had stopped at a gas station in Houston on Saturday night when they were surrounded by police cars.
Thompson is a 13-year-old blonde white girl and both dance instructors are young African-American men.
“We were on the GPS trying to figure out where the hotel was,” Hurd recalled. “They just pulled us out of the car and put our hands behind our backs like we were criminals.”
“The officer asked me ‘who’s the girl?’ and I said ‘she’s my student,’” Hurd continued. “I told him I had a notarized letter from her parents stating that we have full guardianship over her while we’re here.”
All three told the police the same story, but the officers apparently weren’t buying it.
“They still put handcuffs on me and it really scared me,” the 13-year-old said. “And they put me in the back of a cop car and I was terrified.”
Thompson’s mother, Destiny, was shocked when she found out that her daughter had been placed in the care of Child Protective Services.
“She was with the people I wanted her to be with,” the mother remarked. “She was with people I trusted. And now she was taken away from those people and in a shelter with people I didn’t know.”
At first officials reportedly demanded that the mother fly to Houston to get her daughter, but 11 hours later, the girl was released back into the custody of Hurd.
Destiny Thompson insisted that the police owed her and her daughter an apology. However, the department refused to comment for KHOU’s report.
Someone should probably tell them Rosa Parks ended racism.
David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World
In 1829, David Walker wrote David Walker’s Appeal to the Colored Citizens of the World. Many historians now regard the Appeal as one of the most important social and political documents of the 19th century. Nothing like it had been published before. It remained a rallying point for African Americans for many years after Walker’s death. And it informed the thinking of generations of Black leaders, including Frederick Douglass, W.E.B. Du Bois, Martin Luther King, and Malcolm X.
Excerpts from the Appeal
My dearly beloved Brethren and Fellow Citizens.
Having travelled over a considerable portion of these United States, and having, in the course of my travels, taken the most accurate observations of things as they exist — the result of my observations has warranted the full and unshaken conviction, that we, (coloured people of these United States,) are the most degraded, wretched, and abject set of beings that ever lived since the world began; and I pray God that none like us ever may live again until time shall be no more. They tell us of the Israelites in Egypt, the Helots in Sparta, and of the Roman Slaves, which last were made up from almost every nation under heaven, whose sufferings under those ancient and heathen nations, were, in comparison with ours, under this enlightened and Christian nation, no more than a cypher — or, in other words, those heathen nations of antiquity, had but little more among them than the name and form of slavery; while wretchedness and endless miseries were reserved, apparently in a phial, to be poured out upon, our fathers ourselves and our children, by Christian Americans!
… I call upon the professing Christians, I call upon the philanthropist, I call upon the very tyrant himself, to show me a page of history, either sacred or profane, on which a verse can be found, which maintains, that the Egyptians heaped the insupportable insult upon the children of Israel, by telling them that they were not of the human family. Can the whites deny this charge? Have they not, after having reduced us to the deplorable condition of slaves under their feet, held us up as descending originally from the tribes of Monkeys or Orang-Outangs? O! my God! I appeal to every man of feeling-is not this insupportable? Is it not heaping the most gross insult upon our miseries, because they have got us under their feet and we cannot help ourselves? Oh! pity us we pray thee, Lord Jesus, Master. — Has Mr. Jefferson declared to the world, that we are inferior to the whites, both in the endowments of our bodies and our minds? It is indeed surprising, that a man of such great learning, combined with such excellent natural parts, should speak so of a set of men in chains. I do not know what to compare it to, unless, like putting one wild deer in an iron cage, where it will be secured, and hold another by the side of the same, then let it go, and expect the one in the cage to run as fast as the one at liberty. So far, my brethren, were the Egyptians from heaping these insults upon their slaves, that Pharaoh’s daughter took Moses, a son of Israel for her own, as will appear by the following.
The world knows, that slavery as it existed was, mans, (which was the primary cause of their destruction) was, comparatively speaking, no more than a cypher, when compared with ours under the Americans. Indeed I should not have noticed the Roman slaves, had not the very learned and penetrating Mr. Jefferson said, “when a master was murdered, all his slaves in the same house, or within hearing, were condemned to death.” — Here let me ask Mr. Jefferson, (but he is gone to answer at the bar of God, for the deeds done in his body while living,) I therefore ask the whole American people, had I not rather die, or be put to death, than to be a slave to any tyrant, who takes not only my own, but my wife and children’s lives by the inches? Yea, would I meet death with avidity far! far!! in preference to such servile submission to the murderous hands of tyrants. Mr. Jefferson’s very severe remarks on us have been so extensively argued upon by men whose attainments in literature, I shall never be able to reach, that I would not have meddled with it, were it not to solicit each of my brethren, who has the spirit of a man, to buy a copy of Mr. Jefferson’s “Notes on Virginia,” and put it in the hand of his son.
But let us review Mr. Jefferson’s remarks respecting us some further. Comparing our miserable fathers, with the learned philosophers of Greece, he says: “Yet notwithstanding these and other discouraging circumstances among the Romans, their slaves were often their rarest artists. They excelled too, in science, insomuch as to be usually employed as tutors to their master’s children; Epictetus, Terence and Phaedrus, were slaves, — but they were of the race of whites. It is not their condition then, but nature, which has produced the distinction.” See this, my brethren! ! Do you believe that this assertion is swallowed by millions of the whites? Do you know that Mr. Jefferson was one of as great characters as ever lived among the whites? See his writings for the world, and public labours for the United States of America. Do you believe that the assertions of such a man, will pass away into oblivion unobserved by this people and the world? If you do you are much mistaken-See how the American people treat us — have we souls in our bodies? Are we men who have any spirits at all? I know that there are many swell-bellied fellows among us, whose greatest object is to fill their stomachs. Such I do not mean — I am after those who know and feel, that we are MEN, as well as other people; to them, I say, that unless we try to refute Mr. Jefferson’s arguments respecting us, we will only establish them.
…I must observe to my brethren that at the close of the first Revolution in this country, with Great Britain, there were but thirteen States in the Union, now there are twenty-four, most of which are slave-holding States, and the whites are dragging us around in chains and in handcuffs, to their new States and Territories to work their mines and farms, to enrich them and their children-and millions of them believing firmly that we being a little darker than they, were made by our Creator to be an inheritance to them and their children for ever-the same as a parcel of brutes.
Are we MEN! ! — I ask you, 0 my brethren I are we MEN? Did our Creator make us to be slaves to dust and ashes like ourselves? Are they not dying worms as well as we? Have they not to make their appearance before the tribunal of Heaven, to answer for the deeds done in the body, as well as we? Have we any other Master but Jesus Christ alone? Is he not their Master as well as ours? — What right then, have we to obey and call any other Master, but Himself? How we could be so submissive to a gang of men, whom we cannot tell whether they are as good as ourselves or not, I never could conceive. However, this is shut up with the Lord, and we cannot precisely tell — but I declare, we judge men by their works.
The whites have always been an unjust, jealous, unmerciful, avaricious and blood-thirsty set of beings, always seeking after power and authority.
…to my no ordinary astonishment, [a] Reverend gentleman got up and told us (coloured people) that slaves must be obedient to their masters — must do their duty to their masters or be whipped — the whip was made for the backs of fools, &c. Here I pause for a moment, to give the world time to consider what was my surprise, to hear such preaching from a minister of my Master, whose very gospel is that of peace and not of blood and whips, as this pretended preacher tried to make us believe. What the American preachers can think of us, I aver this day before my God, I have never been able to define. They have newspapers and monthly periodicals, which they receive in continual succession, but on the pages of which, you will scarcely ever find a paragraph respecting slavery, which is ten thousand times more injurious to this country than all the other evils put together; and which will be the final overthrow of its government, unless something is very speedily done; for their cup is nearly full.-Perhaps they will laugh at or make light of this; but I tell you Americans! that unless you speedily alter your course, you and your Country are gone! ! ! ! !
If any of us see fit to go away, go to those who have been for many years, and are now our greatest earthly friends and benefactors — the English. If not so, go to our brethren, the Haytians, who, according to their word, are bound to protect and comfort us. The Americans say, that we are ungrateful-but I ask them for heaven’s sake, what should we be grateful to them for — for murdering our fathers and mothers ? — Or do they wish us to return thanks to them for chaining and handcuffing us, branding us, cramming fire down our throats, or for keeping us in slavery, and beating us nearly or quite to death to make us work in ignorance and miseries, to support them and their families. They certainly think that we are a gang of fools. Those among them, who have volunteered their services for our redemption, though we are unable to compensate them for their labours, we nevertheless thank them from the bottom of our hearts, and have our eyes steadfastly fixed upon them, and their labours of love for God and man. — But do slave-holders think that we thank them for keeping us in miseries, and taking our lives by the inches?
Let no man of us budge one step, and let slave-holders come to beat us from our country. America is more our country, than it is the whites-we have enriched it with our blood and tears. The greatest riches in all America have arisen from our blood and tears: — and will they drive us from our property and homes, which we have earned with our blood? They must look sharp or this very thing will bring swift destruction upon them. The Americans have got so fat on our blood and groans, that they have almost forgotten the God of armies. But let the go on.
Do the colonizationists think to send us off without first being reconciled to us? Do they think to bundle us up like brutes and send us off, as they did our brethren of the State of Ohio? Have they not to be reconciled to us, or reconcile us to them, for the cruelties with which they have afflicted our fathers and us? Methinks colonizationists think they have a set of brutes to deal with, sure enough. Do they think to drive us from our country and homes, after having enriched it with our blood and tears, and keep back millions of our dear brethren, sunk in the most barbarous wretchedness, to dig up gold and silver for them and their children? Surely, the Americans must think that we are brutes, as some of them have represented us to be. They think that we do not feel for our brethren, whom they are murdering by the inches, but they are dreadfully deceived.
What nation under heaven, will be able to do any thing with us, unless God gives us up into its hand? But Americans. I declare to you, while you keep us and our children in bondage, and treat us like brutes, to make us support you and your families, we cannot be your friends. You do not look for it do you? Treat us then like men, and we will be your friends. And there is not a doubt in my mind, but that the whole of the past will be sunk into oblivion, and we yet, under God, will become a united and happy people. The whites may say it is impossible, but remember that nothing is impossible with God.
I count my life not dear unto me, but I am ready to be offered at any moment, For what is the use of living, when in fact I am dead. But remember, Americans, that as miserable, wretched, degraded and abject as you have made us in preceding, and in this generation, to support you and your families, that some of you, (whites) on the continent of America, will yet curse the day that you ever were born. You want slaves, and want us for your slaves ! ! ! My colour will yet, root some of you out of the very face of the earth ! ! ! ! ! ! You may doubt it if you please. I know that thousands will doubt-they think they have us so well secured in wretchedness, to them and their children, that it is impossible for such things to occur.
See your Declaration Americans! ! ! Do you understand your won language? Hear your languages, proclaimed to the world, July 4th, 1776 — “We hold these truths to be self evident — that ALL MEN ARE CREATED EQUAL! ! that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness! !” Compare your own language above, extracted from your Declaration of Independence, with your cruelties and murders inflicted by your cruel and unmerciful fathers and yourselves on our fathers and on us — men who have never given your fathers or you the least provocation! ! ! ! ! !
Daniel Phillips Upham was an active Republican politician, businessman, plantation owner, and Arkansas State Militia commander following the Civil War. He is perhaps best remembered, and often vilified, for his part during Reconstruction as the leader of a successful militia campaign against the Ku Klux Klan in the Militia War from 1868 to 1869.
D. P. Upham was born in Dudley, Massachusetts, on December 30, 1832, to Clarissa Phillips and Josiah Upham. His mother died less than a week later at age 29. His father remarried Betsy Larned in March 1836, and the couple had four sons.
Upham received his education at Dudley’s public schools, and he married a Massachusetts native named Lizzie. His date of marriage and wife’s full name are not known. The couple eventually adopted a daughter, Isabel.
Upham struggled as the owner of a bluestone—building material—business in New York City. He left his family and arrived at DeValls Bluff (Prairie County) in April 1865, where his former business associate, Brigadier General Alexander Shaler, was the commanding officer. General Shaler gave Upham the necessary access to the proper licenses for entering the businesses that Upham hoped would relieve his debts. Soon, Upham had profitable interests in two saloons, a cottonplantation, and two steamboats. In July 1865, he visited the Northeast to pay his debts, and he returned with his wife. The couple settled in Augusta (Woodruff County) where Upham owned a cotton plantation and a prosperous store.
Following the Congressional Reconstruction Acts of 1867, Upham was elected to represent Woodruff, Crittenden, and St. Francis counties in the Arkansas House of Representatives. Politically, Upham was a Radical Republican who supported Republican Governor Powell Clayton’s efforts to reshape Arkansas politically, socially, and economically. In the spring of 1868, the Ku Klux Klan, a loosely organized band of former Confederates and sympathizers upset by expansion of black voting rights and the restrictions against former Confederates’ voting rights, began to retaliate by terrorizing white and black Republicans. The state legislature approved the creation of a state guard and reserve militia in July 1868, and Clayton ordered several counties, including Woodruff, to muster up militias in late August.
Upham’s popularity with freedmen and his business success stirred resentment with southern whites, and he became the target of Woodruff County’s Klan. Tensions mounted with political assassinations in nearby counties and public displays of force by the local Klan and Upham’s militia. After numerous threats and reports of nightly Klan surveillance of his home, Upham and F. A. McClure, Woodruff County’s registrar, were ambushed and injured on October 2, 1868.
Governor Clayton canceled elections for president, congress, and legislative vacancies in Woodruff County and ten other counties. Clayton declared martial law in those areas and divided the state into four military districts. After Joseph Brooksturned down the position, Clayton selected Upham to command the northeast military district. The burning conflict would later be termed the Militia War.
Upham set up headquarters near federal troops at Batesville (Independence County) in an effort to stabilize the region. His forces grew to 1,000 white and black troops. He returned to Woodruff County leading more than 100 white troops to face the local Klan led by Confederate veteran Colonel A. C. Pickett. Pickett and his men managed to overrun and pillage Upham’s plantation, but Upham prevented the occupation of Augusta by taking several Klan sympathizers hostage and threatening to kill them if the Klan did not disperse. The tactic seemed to work, but later 100 Klansmen ambushed him and his men. In a series of skirmishes, Upham faced off and defeated the Klan in Woodruff County.
Upham’s resolve, tactics, recruitment of black troops, and occupation of his own county proved controversial and politically divisive. In April 1875, his former enemies in Woodruff County took their revenge just as Democratic Redeemersended Reconstruction. Upham was tried for the murder of two men during the Militia War. Although he was acquitted and vindicated of wrongdoing, Upham remained an object of scorn in local and standard state histories well into the twentieth century.
Upham and his wife left Woodruff County and settled in Little Rock (Pulaski County) in 1869. He invested in real estate, continued to serve in the Arkansas State Militia, and was a clerk in the Pulaski County Chancery Court. In October 1870, he was appointed brigadier general in command of the Seventh District in central Arkansas. He also served in a series of battles against ex-Confederates in Pope County in 1872. In May 1873, Republican governor Elisha Baxter dismissed him from the Arkansas State Militia along with other men with ties to Powell Clayton. A year later, in the haze of the Brooks-Baxter War, Upham sided with Joseph Brooks and took command of a company of men in Brooks’s unsuccessful attempt to claim the governorship.
In July 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant appointed Upham U.S. marshal for the Western District Court presided over by JudgeIsaac C. Parker in Fort Smith (Sebastian County). At first, his appointment raised the specter of his controversial past, but Upham served with distinction and received wide public support. His service as U.S. marshal ended when Arkansas’s former Republican U.S. senator Stephen Dorsey plotted effectively to have him replaced in June of 1880. Upham fought for his reappointment but failed due to opposition from his former ally, Powell Clayton.
In November 1882, with his health failing, he visited family in Massachusetts. He died of “consumption”—that is,tuberculosis—at his father’s house in Dudley, Massachusetts, on November 18, 1882, and was buried in Little Rock’sOakland Cemetery. His wife and daughter are interred next to him.
For additional information:
D. P. Upham Collection. University of Arkansas at Little Rock Archives and Special Collections, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Obituary of Daniel Phillips Upham. Arkansas Gazette. November 22, 1882, p.4.
Obituary of Daniel Phillips Upham. Worcester Evening Gazette. November 22, 1882, p. 2.
Rector, Charles J. “D. P. Upham, Woodruff County Carpetbagger.” Arkansas Historical Quarterly 59 (Spring 2000): 59–75.